Examination of Witnesses (Questions 40
TUESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2001
40. We were told by KFOR people that they actually
sat and watched these training camps training. That is, by any
standards, a fundamental breach of the ground safety area, is
it? There is no dispute about that, that is a fundamental breach
of the arrangements.
(Mr Steele) Yes, definitely.
41. If that is the case, going back to Dr von
Hippel's point and your reference to radicalisation ....
(Mr Glenny) In part, the insurgency is ordered in
order to undermine Mr Rugova in Kosovo. He does not favour this
type of policy. He defeated fairly roundly some of the most visible
members of the KLA in the local elections and this is in part
a response to that. They want to destabilise. Why it is important
for Kosovo is because we need to go towards parliamentary elections
as fast as is possible in Kosovo and what this does is it makes
it more difficult for democratically minded Albanians to put themselves
forward in the wake of those parliamentary elections. The real
danger for Presevo is not a big-scale war between two artilleries.
That is not going to happen. The real problem with Presevo is
Macedonia and its impact there. In the past four weeks there have
been about four attacks in Macedonia (one on a police station,
one on a train with a mortar) from Albanians, including one organisation
called the Liberation Army of Tetovo. If Presevo is allowed to
continue unhindered in the way that Jonathan suggestsand
I agree with him fully that this is something we have to respond
to very quicklyit could spill over to Macedonia and then
you are into an entirely different ball game in the southern Balkans.
42. And to Mitrovica, who has also had impacts
(Mr Glenny) It is a parallel problem.
(Mr Judah) I was going to say this morning, when we
talked about Kosovo, but I might as well bring it up here
43. We will be going on to Kosovo later. I want
to come on to Montenegro as the next block.
(Mr Judah) OK.
Mr Mackinlay: We have jumped about a bit, but
on this question of constituent assembly in Kosovo.
Chairman: What I would like to do is to clear
Montenegro, then there will be a lot of interest in Kosovo. Sir
Sir David Madel: On Montenegro, do you think
British Government policy, on whether it should be independent,
is consistent in starting to change? Are we different from the
Americans on this and are there differences within the European
(Mr Glenny) I do not think there are many differences
in policy here since October 5. There has been a fairly clear
line to Podgorica that the EU and Britain and the US are not interested
in independence. It is a pragmatic position. It is rather difficult
to argue with the Montenegrins that they should not go for independence,
everyone else was allowed to go for independence, they are allowed
to under the Badinter Commission, and so the Montenegrin's have
a case. But the reason why the American and the EU position on
this is as clear as it is is because of what it does to Kosovo,
what the implications for Kosovo are if the federation ceases
to exist, and there is real fear in the foreign ministries of
Europe and in the State Department of what that impact should
be. Djukanovic understands and the impact of October 5 in general
is that Croatia and Serbia will become the most important territories
again in South-Eastern Europe, and the smaller areas, whatever
form they take, whether they are Kosovo or whether they are Bosnia
or whether they are Montenegro, are going to suffer in terms of
investment, politically they are likely to develop more slowly,
and so this is an attempt, a bid, I think, by Djukanovic and his
people to say, you know, we still exist and we are important,
even if it is at the expense of Western fears about the impact
that this may have on Kosovo, Macedonia, Southern Serbia.
(Mr Steele) I would perhaps slightly disagree with
Misha there. I think it is clear that even though before October
5 Western policy was not for the independence of Montenegro, they
were using Montenegro as a lever against Serbia. They were encouraging
it to be as independent diplomatically and economically as possible,
even if they did not encourage it to go for full sovereign independence
in the international legal sense. Now that has changed, and Montenegro
has been partly ignored and even, to some extent, snubbed, certainly
by the new administration in Washington, and I think this is very
damaging and incorrect policy. I think we should be consistent,
we should say that this is an issue of self-determination. As
Misha says, the Montenegrins have the right to secede if they
wish and we should not be taking sides in this way, we are using
Montenegro as a hostage to our failure to come up with a proper
policy for the future status of Kosovo. I think that annoys people
in Kosovo, it annoys people in Montenegro, and I think it is a
foolish policy and they should change it.
Sir David Madel
44. Really what you are saying is that British
Government policy has become inconsistent.
(Mr Steele) I think so, yeswell, it has done
a massive zig-zag, and I think the new line is much worse than
the old line and we should not be telling Montenegro they cannot
become independent, and certainly not have the kind of implied
economic conditionality that is there, that if you go on talking
about independence you will get less aid and all that kind of
thing. I think that is a total violation of the principle of self-determination
for the people of Montenegro.
45. I suppose independence is what most European
capitals fear. Could we ask of our witnesses a simple answer to
the basic proposition that, if in fact Montenegro goes to independence,
there is this domino theory, not only in Kosovo but in Macedonia
and Bosnia, that Bosnia/Macedonia will eventually unravel as a
result of a decision of Montenegro to independence.
(Mr Steele) The question of Bosnia is not linked to
Montenegro because the Republika Srpska was never a constituent
part of the old Yugoslav federation so that if Montenegro now
chose to go independent the idea that that means that the people
of the Republika Srpska have some kind of similar right to become
independent is just not true. There is no linkage of that kind.
I think the linkage is much more the one that Misha talked about
Kosovo, because that would undermine the Yugoslav federation if
Montenegro became independent. Then you cannot have Kosovo part
of the federation any more.
Chairman: Do you accept the official view?
46. Do you think that the official line we are
getting, that there is a domino theory in the case of Kosovo,
and Macedonia is often referred to as well, is a valid case?
(Mr Steele) No, I do not think it is. I think each
of these issues should be treated on its merits. We should have
a proper policy towards Kosovo, a proper policy towards Macedonia,
and a proper policy towards Montenegro. Although I think there
can be some psychological carry-over from one to the other, there
is no inevitability. The domino effect assumes things that are
inevitable: the first domino hits the second, the second hits
the third, the fourth. There is no inevitability.
47. May we have an answer from each one of the
panel because this is such a crucial question.
(Mr Judah) Part of the question assumes that Kosovo
is somehow going to be reincorporated back into Yugoslavia. I
do not think it is ever going to be reincorporated back into Yugoslavia.
The question of: If Montenegro becomes independent, as it becomes
independent it makes problems for Kosovo, is rather looking at
it upside down because Kosovo is not going to be reincorporated
back into Yugoslaviaor at least most of it is not. I do
not think they should be seen in that context. I mean, you could
argue that with Montenegrin independence that you are down to
ground zero, you are down to all the constituent parts, and once
you are down to all the constituent parts you could start to rebuild
the whole areaobviously not as a single country but as
a single economic, geographic, cultural, etcetera, unit. As many
people have said, as a mini-EU, perhaps as a precedent for it
joining the EU many years down the line.
48. That is two against the official line.
(Dr von Hippel) I would agree with both of them, that
the ideal solution is going to be a loose confederation, not necessarily
just with Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo but probably with other
states or provinces (or whatever you want to call them) in the
region. It is not a question of Serbia and Montenegro staying
in a federation; it is a question of how Serbia deals with Kosovo
and how the three of them interact in some sort of arrangement.
49. I am sorry, I did not quite understand whether
that was yes or no.
(Dr von Hippel) I do not think we are looking at unravelling
or an enormous war about to happen, but everything is linked in
the region, certainly.
(Mr Glenny) Talking about hoping to establish policies
of principle in the Balkans in British or any other foreign policy
is rather shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted,
because this has been a policy of pragmatism from all European
countries and the United States for 10 years and the zig-zags
have been absolutely extraordinary and it is now so far down the
line that any idea of principle has gone out the window; we have
to play by ear. So the question is whether Montenegro will knock-on
or not. My own feeling is that it is going to be difficult to
stop the Montenegrins from going towards independence and, if
they so choose, they should be granted that right through recognition
by the international community but I would not be quite so sanguine
as my colleagues about the smooth transition that will result
from an independent Montenegro. I think it will have serious consequences
in Kosovo and my fear has always been for a very long time that
the great unresolved question in South-Eastern Europe is Macedonia
and that this willand I judge now in part by the statements
of Macedonian politicianshave a pretty negative impact
on the stability of their country. So I would, on the whole, support
British policy but I would not deny recognition to Montenegro
if, through a referendum, their citizens decided to go down the
50. There are very serious criticisms in the
Montenegro regime on the extent of criminality, corruption and
lack of economic reform. Do you think that independence is a way
of avoiding those questions? Should that not affect the level
of aid to Montenegro from the EU?
(Mr Judah) If it is the case, if there is clear evidence
that that is the case, then, yes, presumably it should affect
a level of aid, etcetera. I am not quite sure whether it should
affect the political process.
51. Do you accept the evidence?
(Mr Judah) I have not seen any evidence. I have heard
rumours. I mean, I read the same stuff as everybody else, but
I do not know to what extent it is true.
(Mr Steele) I would agree with that, but I think one
has to be careful about some of these allegations about criminality,
the Mafia and so on in Montenegro because some of them come up
for political reasonsI mean, particularly in the Belgrade
media, but even in the Italian media and so on. Having said that,
I think there is no doubt that what is going on in the economic
privatisation process in Montenegro is not very transparent. There
should be much more transparency, much more openness. There was
a history of smuggling in the past and whether or not some people
in the government of Montenegro are linked to it is I think an
open question. I do not think we can completely exonerate all
of them, but it should not be used, I think, as a conditionality
for aid. It is something that we should be concerned about but
not in any way use as a conditionality.
52. Back to this question of Montenegrin independence.
One can sit here and wonder whether Western policy should encourage
or discourage it, and I take your point about zig-zags and that
we used this as a lever on Serbia when Milosevic was there, but
is there not another factor? We seem to be talking about this
as though this was the free choice of Montenegro but Serbia may
try to stop Montenegro independence. Is the Serb second army still
sitting in Montenegro or has it gone back to Serbia?
(Mr Glenny) I would say just over 50 per cent of Serbs
would at the moment be happy to see Montenegro go. I really do
not think that either Kostunica or Djindjic ... certainly not
Djindjic, because for Djindjic this arrangement is just peachy,
it is what he wants, because Kostunica is thereby effectively
eliminated as a political subject (as the Yugoslavs would say).
So I do not think you will find Serbia trying to resist the cessation
53. Do you all agree?
(Mr Judah) Yes, but I would like to bring to the attention
of the committee certain statistics which you will have to bear
in mind and look at in the future. It is important, if and when
there is a referendum, that there should be a clear answer. For
example, if we are talking about a referendum in favour of independence,
it should be a clear, a very clear majority.
54. What does that mean? Sixty per cent?
(Mr Judah) I am not a mathematician, but at the moment
it is about 50:50, perhaps a bit more, who are in favour of independence.
55. In Montenegro
(Mr Judah) In Montenegro. The problem is in Montenegro,
I think, that 80 per cent of the population of Montenegro are
orthodox Montenegrins; the rest are either Albanians or Sandjak
Muslims/Bosniacs (whatever you like to call them). That 20 per
cent are very pro independence. Of course, politically correctly,
we should be talking about the voting systems. The fact is that
if you had an independence referendum which was brought about,
let us say, by 51 per cent, that would be a minority of orthodox
Montenegrins, which could store up political instability for the
56. What would be a convincing majority in your
(Mr Judah) I suppose it would have to be a percentage
of 60-something plus, would it not? It would have to be whatever
it is which would be a majority of orthodox Montenegrins.
57. Could I ask all three of you: do you share
Mr Glenny's view that Serbia would not try to resist Montenegro
(Mr Steele) It certainly will not try and resist militarily.
I think it is very likely that during the referendum campaign,
if it happens, the Serbian media, including the broadcast media
and the state media that I touched on before, will try and influence
the voters, because, particularly in the northern part of Montenegro,
many of them can watch Serbian TV and so I think there will be
that kind of propaganda interference, if you like. But there is
no threat of the military coming in and trying to stop it.
(Mr Judah) The difference between Montenegrin independence
and the independence of any other parts of the former Yugoslavia
really is that it would never be a kind of hostile independence.
There would never be a sort of hostile future between the two.
I mean, if Scotland becomes independent, it will be a friendly
country next door to England. There is not a legacy of problems.
58. The analogy that I used when we were over
there, and I want to bounce it off you, is that it could and should
be a Luxembourg to Belgium. Even pre-EU it was two separate state
structures, but with economic and political independence, and
even then they had the same currency. Anyway, you have got two
separate economies, have you not, so if the Federation was to
survive how do you bring in what is a deutschmark economy withcan
I bounce that one off you?
(Mr Glenny) A friend of mine from the region said
that the similarities between the Dutch and the Greek economies
were closer than the similarities between the Montenegrin and
Sir John Stanley
59. All the discussion we have had for the last
few minutes indicates the foreign policy importance and the sensitivities
of the Montenegrin situation. The question I would like to put
to you is whether you have any views you would like to put to
us as to the adequacy of the way in which the Foreign Office is
handling our diplomatic representation vis-a-vis Montenegro. As
you will be aware, there are no premises which the British Government
have in Montenegro for diplomatic purposes. Obviously there is
no question of an embassy there as long as Montenegro is within
the Federal Republic, but there is an issue as to whether, instead
of trying to run the Foreign office arm in relation to Montenegro
out of Belgrade, which is what is happening at the moment, given
the importance of Montenegro, the Foreign Office should be investing
in a consulate in Montenegro. I would be grateful to know whether
you have any views to put to the Committee on that.
(Mr Judah) I would have thought that given its importance
it would seem to be a very sensible approach to have somebody
there. I am not sure but I assume it would not be too great an
expense as having people going backward and forward to Belgrade,
just having one person based there in close contact with Belgrade.
(Mr Steele) I would agree with that. We need to be
well aware of what is going on in Montenegro and have regular
daily reports but I do not think it should be seen as a way either
of recognising the independence of Montenegro or that the office
would try to have regular contacts with Montenegrin politicians
telling them not to go independent. It should be purely representational
and not in any way a political arm that is trying to influence
(Mr Glenny) Either way, if Montenegro decides to go
independent, then obviously it would be there as the genesis of
an embassy. If it decides not to then there is no harm in having
representation in Podgorica. I do not think that anyone would
get too upset except perhaps the Serbs but I do not think it would